The first film by a saudi arabian official. As of 2002, only two feature films and a documentary have seen the light of day, but this film remains the first real production of saudi arabia in the cinema. In addition, this is a woman who realizes it and who wrote it. This is not nothing, it is first of all a new page and a great step forward that, hopefully, will lead to a future glorious in the cinema of saudi arabia. One can hope, since this film omen of good things to say.

It is the first film saudi official, and therefore, by an implacable logic, the first feature-length film of the filmmaker. This is admirable, it is the subject, which amounts to an important, but not to the point of wanting to make a satire of radical. Haifaa Al Mansour integrates in his film, one side feminist very pleasant, which leads us to the pleasant atmosphere and comfort in the subject. But above all, a feminist who forces us to place ourselves from the point of view of the woman, a bit as did Mohammed Diab with the WOMEN on THE BUS 678 over the past year.

In addition, this side feminist has as protagonist the little Wadjda, a girl of 12 years high in colours. And the power of the film and especially the message comes from here : we see the problems paths through the eyes of a child. The innocence adds and bravado will stick. The child wants to go to the end of his desires and wishes and will do everything to achieve it, even to break the rules (there was little to see this in CARTRIDGES GAULOISES by Mehdi Charef, or the war in Algeria was seen by children in both countries).

“Portrait of modern civilization and adolescence, with the dualities and an odyssey optimistic of the resistance of women of saudi arabia.”

The small Wadjda embodies, therefore, women in saudi. But not in anything. Through his innocence, his naivety and his ardor some, she embodies the strength of women of saudi arabia in the face of the oppression of men, in the face of religious rules and cultural codes. It is a true odyssey that one can live in this movie. An odyssey through which women will be brave in the face of codes and rules imposed in this country (could it understand the late development of the cinema of saudi arabia ?).

Then, the small Wadjda represents trait for trait the youth universal in all its glory. Finally, in all of its features. When young people ask their parents one thing and do not give up ever. When young people disobey the school rules. When the youth is delinquent. When the youth is the proof of strong family ties. When the youth discovers love and friendship. When the youth discovers the life, in some way. A life not easy in which they need to integrate the system.

But even if these youth and these women need to go through the system, these rules and oppression, this does not mean that they keep a look optimistic to the situation. In the hope that everything will be beautiful and successful, we can see the hope for a better world. It is a race to the future, it is a race to the desire to be counted among the citizens of this people, of this world. It is then that the public revolt becomes a quest to freedom.

One could say that this film is composed of several dualities. As explained previously, there is the opposition between man and woman. There is one between the rules, the codes and the freedom. There was the one between parents and their children. But is this also a duality between emancipation and religion. It is not question to question the practices or the rules of the religion, but there is a question of knowing how to release it to gain freedom.

Finally, WADJDA is a film that is subtle and touching at the same time. We can not dwell on the small flaws of staging what are the defects of the first films. But we will especially remember that Haifaa Al Mansour’s beyond the scope of his film to provide a portrait of modern civilization and adolescence. At once A question of dualities male / female, parents / children, enfranchisement / religion and rules / freedom, this film is also an odyssey optimistic of the strength of women saudi woman seen through the eyes naive and impetuous youth. The cinema of saudi arabia is born, and it surprises already.


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